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Abstract:

      Stephen Werly Diary, pp. 4-6, April 25, 1862 - Oct 23, 1862

          Werly, Stephan (1823- ), Diary, 1862-1864
          A La Grange, Missouri, German-American in
          Company K, 21st Missouri Infantry
          Translated from German

Pittsburgh Landing, April 25th.[1862]

        A rainy day. We moved our camp about three miles more toward
the southwest.

May 1st,

Again we went about three miles southwest.

May 3rd.

        We marched again from 6 to 7 niles farther south. That night,
after we were done with putting up our tents, I was longing for
withdrawing in the bush to converse with my God; the opportunity
was favorable to me, as the sentinels were as yet on duty around
our camp. I felt the presence of my Lord, and I implored Him
again to protect me and my family.

        Soon afterwards we heard the roar of big cannons toward
Cornith, from which town we were still 10 miles distant, for about one
half hour, and I was afraid that we might have again a hard fight on
Sunday, as it is now Saturday night. But a short time later, we heard
that our men had repulsed the advanced guards and that some of these
were made prisoners. Therefore, everything was quiet on Sunday May
4th, and we even had a chance to hear a sermon, as we now have an army
chaplin who is an English Methodist Preacher.

May 7,

        We marched again from two to three miles in southeasterly
direction to a place where trenches had been thrown up.

May 10

Again 2 miles to the southeast.

On May 12th and 13th,

Our regiment was sent out as outposts.

On May 14th.

We followed them for about three miles with our baggage.

May 17th

        We marched again 2 miles toward the south and are now only
4 or 5 miles distant from Corlnth.

May 18 (1862)

Had our brigade to work all day throwing up trenches.

May 19th.

        We received orders to load everything on wagons, to take our
knapsacks along, and we certainly thought there would be some
fightlug. The band of musicians had orders to go with the doctors
to take care of the wounded on the battlefield. I was ready and
anew implored the protection of the Almighty who knows to save His
children.  Oh, God, strengthen my faith and grant that I always
may have a childlike confidence in Thee in my heart, for the mercy
of our dear Saviour's sake. -Amen!

Stephan Werly.

May 25th,

        We went one mile toward the southwest, in back of the trenches
nearest to the rebels, where we had to be ready continuously, put in
ranks to meet the enemy. But instead of attacking us he retreated on
the 30th day of May, from the trenches and left Corinth (Mississippi)

June 6th,

        We went about one mile south of Corinth and stayed there until
the 11th; then we left for the little town of Chewalla(Tennessee)
about 12 miles northwest of Corinth to guard both railroad and depot.

On June 16th.

        I was reminded anew how frail humanity is. My neighbor,
Brother Heinrich Wllhelm nearly lost his life; his pulse almoat
stopped beating. But God restored him to life and health for a
few more days through medical help and the care and attention of
his friends. How hard it is for the father of a family to lead
the life of a soldier far away from hls beloved ones! But how
delightful it is, when such a father of a family, in the hour of
death, has the strong belief to enter a better life! Oh, God,
make me good that I may die the death of the Just, and grabs that
hereafter I and my family may enter the haven of peace, for the
mercy of the dear blood of Jesus Christ's sake. Amen!

On August 10th,

        The negroes had a Christian reunion, for the first time in our
camp. One of the negroes made the sermon, and he praised and gave
glory to the blood of Jesus. Another negro, a very old, white-
haired, man spoke the final prayer; and he implored God's blessing
for his brother negroes and also for our entire regiment. I was
very much pleased and felt ashamed that we white ones do not
praise the grace of God more sincerely. Oh, Lord, make me strong
in Thee, that I may do as Thou wishest. Amen!

On August the 19th,

We marched with our regiment from Chewalla to Corinth.

On September 9th. (1862)

        We went to Cossath (Kossuth, Miss.) as outposts, about 10
miles from Corinth, and stayed there until Oct. 2nd on which day we
certainly thought that our regiment would be attacked by the enemy. We
were ready to receive him. Durlng the following night we got orders to
return to our camp near Corinth.

At 4 o'clock a.m. the 3rd of October, 1862

        We arrived in our camp, went to sleep to rest for a little
while, as we were tired from the march over bad roads in the dark
night.  We had hardly a little sleep, when early in the morning we
heard the boom of cannons, and we were told that the secessionists
were about to come and had attacked our outposts. We were at once
ordered to eat something hurriedly and to get ready to meet the enemy.
It was about 11 o'clock, when our brigade was engaged in a fierce
fight. We got orders to fall back in order to entice the enemy, to
follow us under the forts of Corlnth, and it was therefore that the
secessionists entered our camp on this first day.

On October the 4th,

        The battle was continued. Early in the morning the enemy threw
shells and cannon balls in the town of Corinth, and it looked as if
they would ruin and take the town, but our heavy guns soon silenced
theirs.  afterward the enemy tried strong bayonet and musketry attacks
on our forts, but each time they were repulsed with heavy losses, and
finally, on October 4th, at about 11:30, they retreated and were put
to flight, with our troops following.  Our regiment pursued them only
as far as the hospital of the secessionists, where we captured the
wounded and enlisted ones and held them under guard, until they were
brought to Corinth. But, Oh, how many gave up the ghost and were sunk
in the ground, wrapped in a blanket, before they were mustered. It is
terrible to be compelled to stand by and see, how much the poor
mutilated fellows have to suffer!

On October the 8th,

        Our camp was removed, from the west side to the south side of
Corinth.

On October 13th,

        Again it was removed, this time one mile to the west. On the
18th again one half mile.

On October the 19th, Sunday,

        Our new camp had to be broken up, and in that way there is no
rest for the poor soldier.  It is a restless and hard life, and I
consider it as the chastislug and striking hand of God, whereby He is
punishing the poor sinful human creatures. Oh, God, do not allow Thy
Just hand to rest too heavily upon us!

October the 22nd,

        We left our camp for the depot in Corinth from where we were
to be brought by railroad to Missouri, which was promised us since a
long time ago.

On October 23rd, early,

        We started with the loading and left Corinth at 4 o'clock, on
a very cold morning, in open cars, in the direction of Columbus,
Kentucky, and arrived ln Columbus at 6 p.m., where we at once boarded
a steamboat, the "Tigress", which should bring us to St. Louis.  We
left Columbus at about 10 p.m. and paased Cairo at 2 o'clock.

On October 24th., in the morning,

        We passed Centerville, Ill. During the night of October the
24th. to October the 25th we had a sleet and snow storm, ...


Source:    Collection Number 1949, Folder 1, p. 4-6
           Western Historical Manuscript Collection
           23 Ellis Library
           University of Missouri-Columbia
           Columbia, MO 65201
           (573) 882-6028, email whmc@et.missouri.edu


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